|Manufacturer||Dennis Specialist Vehicles|
|Years in operation||1994 – 2011|
|Transmission||Allison AT 545|
|Emission Standard||Euro I|
The Dennis Dart is a rear-engined single-decker city bus built by Dennis Specialist Vehicles in the United Kingdom. The popular chassis entered service around the world, notably in the United Kingdom, and smaller numbers in Australia and Hong Kong.
Singapore Bus Service (SBS) acquired 10 of these midibuses in 1994, with bodywork supplied by Duple Metsec. At 9.4 metres long, these short length buses primarily operated on bus routes serving landed housing estates with narrow roads. After re-branding to SBS Transit, the buses continued operations, all of which were retired by 2011.
The Dennis Dart chassis was manufactured by Dennis Specialist Vehicles between 1989 and 2007. Conceived as a vehicle between a minibus and a full-sized single-decker bus, it was initially produced between 8.5-metre to 9.8-metre lengths. SBS acquired 10 units of Dennis Dart buses to this specification.
In 1995, a low-floor version was launched, called the Dennis Dart SLF (for Super Low Floor). Production of this variant of Dart, which replaced the earlier high-floor variant, continued through the company’s reorganization as Transbus and finally Alexander Dennis. Production ceased in 2007 and it was replaced by the Alexander Dennis Enviro200.
SBS / SBS Transit Dennis Dart (SBS8009A – SBS8018Z):
In 1994, Singapore Bus Services (SBS) procured 10 units of the Dennis Dart, intended for bus routes serving landed housing estates with narrow roads. Registered between 12 October 1994 and 29 December 1994, they bore the registration numbers SBS8009A – SBS8018Z.
|Basic Technical Specifications|
|Engine||Cummins 6BT, 5883 cc
Power/Torque rating of 130 hp (97 kW) @ 2500 rpm / 470 Nm @ 1500 rpm
|Transmission||Allison AT 545 gearbox, four-speed automatic|
|Bodywork||Duple Metsec Bodywork
Complete Knock-Down (CKD) kits supplied by Duple Metsec of United Kingdom and assembled locally by SBS Engineering Pte Ltd.
|Capacity||33 Seating + 20 Standing = 53 total
|Others||Sütrak roof-mounted air-conditioning, Deans doors|
At 9.4 metres long, the short-length Dennis Dart was intended for Service M1 and M2 (present-day Service 42 and 92), which served the landed housing estates of Ghim Moh and Kembangan respectively. Their short length would aid in manoeuvring through the narrow roads within these estates.
The Dennis Dart buses are the third model of short-length buses acquired by SBS for such routes. The first type was the Nissan Civilian (SBS8000Z – SBS8003R) minibus acquired in 1985, and following that was the Mercedes-Benz 811D (SBS8004M – SBS8008C) minibus acquired in 1994 and bodied by Asia Coach. Naturally, the registration numbers of the Dennis Dart continued in numerical order after these buses. It also had the advantage of having a spacious interior as it was constructed similar to a full-sized bus.
Like similar buses of the era, SBS purchased these buses with bodywork kits to be assembled locally. Its subsidiary, SBS Engineering Pte Ltd, undertook assembly work at Hougang Bus Depot. Unlike other buses of a similar era, which were fitted with either ZF or Voith transmissions, the Dennis Dart buses were fitted with Allison transmission units.
These buses were retired in 2011, without any extension of their 17-year statutory lifespan.